Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Gene gun vaccination in allergic airway disease induced by natural house dust mite allergen

Therapeutic DNA vaccination was used to modulate clinical signs in the model of allergic airway disease induced by the human allergen house dust mite derived Der p1 by use of gene gun delivery after sensitisation and before challenge with allergen.

It was reasoned this would most closely mimic therapeutic application i.e. patients with allergies could be vaccinated to prevent symptoms rather than aiming vaccination at the whole population to prevent allergy. Various vaccine preparations were supplied by partner 4 at Chiron.

The main advantage of using the gene gun is that 80-100 fold less DNA is used compared to subcutaneous injection, thus minimising vaccine reactions. The results showed that disease was prevented by any bacterial plasmid given between sensitisation and challenge.

This induced switching of subsequent immunity to a conventional Th2 [characterised by IgG1 antibody] rather than an allergic Th2 [characterised by lung eosinophilia and serum IgE antibody]. This effect may have been due to non-specific effects of bacterial DNA products [eg cpG motifs] on circulating APCs.

However, this indicates that use of such motifs may represent a possible therapeutic approach to prevent development of allergic symptoms and may obviate the need to produce allergen specific therapeutic vaccines.

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Reported by

University of Edinburgh
The Queen's Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent
EH16.4TJ Edinburgh
United Kingdom
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